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tv   [untitled]    December 15, 2010 2:00pm-2:30pm PST

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sense with the city and county of san francisco. with that, i want to ask if i may get a little more clarity as to why we need to act by december 31, 2010. my sense of this deal, if you will, as someone who is supportive of making this happen, is that the deal has progressively improved as negotiations continue. my experience with something as complicated as this type of a deal is that the more time you have to expand on the various points that are very complicated, the more likely you are to get a better deal for the city, so i understand that the protocols may outline that, but that is not necessarily a binding document on the city and county of san francisco, so what is it really that is keeping us from taking our time to do all
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the due diligence we need to do to make sure this is done right? >> thank you. the protocols are not binding on us. it very clearly states when they plan to make their decision. if we do not have our host city agreement to the next week, they will make a decision on an alternative venue other than san francisco. that is part of it. more importantly, irrespective of that, we have tended -- we have to initiate ceqa. if we continue in discussions with the board, we will never be able to pull our papers and get the process started. the planning department has been clear with us. we are already at a disadvantage in needing to move as quickly as we have committed to moving, but we are confident we can. supervisor campos: taking ceqa
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for example, what i'm talking about is probably a two-week extension, perhaps. we vote by january 15 instead of december 1. -- instead of december 31. with respect to the impact of the protocols, that would be the impact of the case if they actually had another viable offer, which is actually something that i am wondering about. one of the things that you said, which i think we should be very proud of is that food is processed in a very open way. the competition, to the extent that there is a competition, has, as you indicated, seen what the city's offer is, and that has been discussed very clearly and very openly, but i have yet to see what the offer of the competition to the extent that there is a competition, actually is. >> on that point, i have every level of confidence, having
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been part of the negotiations and the dialogue that has happened around that table, that they are considering and negotiating with other countries. to the extent that you have questions about what is in that offer, we have done our best to make the event authority -- and they have expressed their interest to answer any questions, and i think some members of this board had taken them up on that opportunity and sat with them and had that opportunity. so it is available to you as well. >> -- supervisor campos: do you have something in writing for the committee and the public that shows with the competition is? what other countries they are looking at, and is there something in writing that actually outlines that? supervisor avalos: i saw something earlier today on the computer that showed something in the italian language, getting some diagrams of a potential
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court citing close to rome, and i was told that san francisco does not want to share its information because that would put it at a disadvantage around bidding, but we have all this information, and we have the discussion here. it seems like what is happening in san francisco is very well known, but what is happening in other parts of the world is not very well known. that puts us at a disadvantage to make a really good decision with the deadline we are being told we are working under. supervisor campos: let me actually ask the budget analyst and the city attorney's office -- do they have written confirmation that in fact there are competing bids? >> mr. chairman, members of the committee, supervisors, we have not seen anything in writing. we have no confirmation of the competing bids. this is not to say that there are not. we just do not know.
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we have never been provided with any specific documentation. we do not know anything about the competing bids at all. supervisor campos: if i may ask the city attorney's office if they have received written confirmation that in fact there are competing bids. >> tom owens, a city attorney's office. i'm not aware of any written confirmation. would not necessarily have seen it if it was available. >> i might have something to add on that. one of our attendance has always been we have to negotiate an offer and an opportunity that put san francisco's best foot forward, that works for us independent of what else is out there. that said, i hear you loud and clear, and i would like you to consider what is before you today, but that we will also work in the coming days to make additional requests and would encourage you independently to also. we are the negotiating team.
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i know you can appreciate that dynamic that we are pressing them for information but at the same time trying to negotiate a deal. as a policymaker, i think it is completely appropriate for you to ask for that information as well. supervisor campos: i respect the very important role that the team plays. i do not think it is important for us as an elected official to try to micromanage the negotiations. to the extent that written confirmation and competing bids is something that you would naturally do, i think that is something that should be done by the negotiating team. i am not one who is going to try to micromanage the very good work you are doing. but to the extent that you were saying we need to make sure we're putting our best foot forward, the deciding factor is making sure we are sure what we're competing against. if we are competing against other countries, that is one thing, but competing against ourselves is an entirely different matter. i do have a couple of other
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questions for you about the process. to what extent has the staff of the port of san francisco been involved in the negotiations? with something as significant as this where you are talking about giving away development rights and very profitable land that is owned by the port of san francisco for 60, 75 years, i would imagine that you would include the port staff at the very outset of any discussions. can you talk a little bit about the level of involvement of court staffed in the negotiations from the very beginning of this discussion? >> absolutely. not only has the director and her staff been involved at the negotiation table, the director or her representative was in every single negotiation session, and i would even
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characterize mr. bentsen as one of our lead negotiators. this is not a deal that was done independently by the mayor's office. it absolutely was in concert with the port's team. they have been instrumental. >> let me -- supervisor campos: let me just say this. i know there are questions that members have that they want to ask, and i think the understanding was that i would just be making an opening statement, so i would just differ the rest of the questions to let you finish the presentation with the understanding that other members, like myself, have questions that they will ask. supervisor avalos: just so we have a good process for asking questions, there are a lot of members of the panel here beyond the committee, i would like to think that we can actually ask clarifying questions that will not have a very elaborate response, let the presentations proceed, and at the end of that,
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go into more detailed questions, which i'm sure there will be an ample amount of. supervisor mirkarimi: i agree, and i think we held off on wanting to ask. i think any of us has quite a list of questions here, so i think what we would like to have is the presentations, but the departments should be agile enough to be on their toes to start answering i think what have been well-known concerns, such as was supervisor campos has iterative in early amendments what we have signaled that we would like to advance in order to help, i think, protect the city's best interests. the department should continue to move forward in the presentations. we will try to keep this on a point and focused, but we also need to have the budget analyst, a controller, an economist cross over into the corporation or not of where we stand on this. let's keep moving forward if we could.
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we will do our best to take in the information and intercede as we see necessary. >> great, now i would like to introduce the chairman of the america's cup organizing committee, mark buell. >> thank you, supervisors. i have the honor of chairing the america's cup -- the san francisco america's cup organizing committee. it is a 501 (c)3, and is made up of a litany of distinguished san franciscans, californians, and people around the country, all very enthusiastic about helping to host this event here. i have -- i can tell you that both governor brown -- governor- elect brown and governor schwarzenegger, both of our united states senators, the speaker of the house, and a host of others, the mayor of los angeles, all are on the
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committee. george shultz and his wife charlotte. but we also have a very good working committee, which includes some prominent san franciscans. tom perkins, renown sailor. we have walter and alan newman on that committee. icahn also include ellen on the association of disabled sailors. we have the rear commodore of the st. francis yacht club. this committee has been meeting for about two months. i see this entire proposal as a three-legged stool. the first you will discuss in detail, and it has to do with the port and physical facilities and the trade-offs that the sponsors get for using the port. what do they give, and what is good for the taxpayers?
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i will leave that to your judgment. the second leg is the america's cup event authority, and that is the authority that is going to raise $270 million to put on a host of regattas are around the world, including the 2012 and 2013 races on the bay. our committee is committed to helping them in that regard, and those are primarily corporate sponsors, and corporate sponsors will make their own judgments about what it is worth for the advertising may get, and we can only introduce them to people who might benefit from that. in that regard, members of the committee have already introduced the event authority representatives to 20 or 25 leading corporations in the bay area, and they are in early discussions about sponsorship. i think you will have by your full board meeting a list of letters from major corporations that have expressed interest in this, and i think that is
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terrific. the third leg is the money that needs to be raised to cover the city expenses. it has been estimated at $2 million. my estimation is it will be less than that, but let's assume for the moment that is the number. we are committed to raising $16 million a year, and there are provisions that call for after the eir is committed, the committee posting a bond for that amount or what remains of it to be raised to protect the interests of the organizers. so we are prepared and ready to go. we have filed our papers for non-profit status. we have literally hundreds of people that are interested in helping us, and i am extremely confident that this will turn out to be one of the most exciting ventures for the day that we will be able to deliver the goods on our end. i will stick around to answer
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questions as you may ask. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you very much for your leadership in helping us steer the interests of the private sector and elected family beyond san francisco and their interest in this. with regard to the $32 million, which i absolutely agree with and i think others do as well, that we want to secure as much as we can the question of us not being held liable on the $32 million, an amendment that says potentially may terminate the agreement if $32 million is not raised. that might not even be strong enough for us. >> right. i understand there is language, and the america's cup has that obligation as the america's cup team. i do not have any objection to the language.
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i think that is the projection. when i raise this issue, i do not want to dwell on it, but the reality is once we go down this line and the yacht club has to make a decision probably is there are already about five teams that have signed up and put the money on the line to compete in this. they are accusing this of not knowing the venue -- and knowing the venue and not sharing it with other teams, and he is under the gun to identify this side. it has ramifications in various other places. i think a year from now, when it is time to say, "is the bond posted? are we doing the job? what are the realities that if anyone is going to walk away from this?" i think you should be protected. i'm not moving that way, and i think our committee needs to be protected from liability, but we will be well on our way by the time that juncture in the road
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comes. >> -- supervisor mirkarimi: i know supervisor elsbernd has some questions, but no events we have seen in the united states typically happen without some foreseen cost overruns. we expect that in that particular case, with the question of $32 million, it could be more than that, so we would presume that your body would also be taking consideration of how we would protect for that particular possibility. >> absolutely. supervisor mirkarimi: hal? >> the limit of our liability now is $32 million, and we have specifically tried to hold onto this. we are a committee of volunteers and good citizens. none of them should be held personally or collectively liable. our assets will be as much as we have raised, and that will be the extent of it, and they will all be contributing to the
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event. i think we have maximum exposure on this, but i do honestly believe if we have the opportunity to get into the details of what we call option b or the northern waterfront, i think we are going to find ourselves below that number, but that is the maximum exposure. supervisor elsbernd: thank you for all that you have done on this. a couple of things you have said and some other things that have been said i'm hoping you can understand -- help me understand a little bit better. you said in passing that the team had the option to walk away. is that the $270 million number if we are having trouble? >> that is the $32 million number. but even in the event -- i guess, realistically, looking a year down the line, and they have already signed -- i do not
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know if they are ready to publicly announce it, but they have already signed one major sponsor. they are in the process of getting commitments as we speak. supervisor elsbernd: i guess that is what i'm getting at. if they do not get there, do they have the ability to walk away? >> that is not my understanding, no. supervisor elsbernd: ok, the $32 million question, the amendment that president chiu has presented to us, as i read it, it creates the ability for the city to potentially walk away if the committee is unable to meet their goals, but the way it is written, it says that we can do that at the ceqa completion. ceqa completion, according to the presentation you just made, will be pretty much 12 months from now. >> it makes a reference to section 9.3, which says they only have to raise and 4 $5
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billion in the first year, so conceivably, that creates a scenario where your one, they do really well in their fund- raising and raised $10.5 billion and hit their mark, and what happens after ceqa has been cleared -- suddenly, they hit a brick wall on their fund raising. the city no longer has the ability to get out. am i reading that right? >> you are reading that right. the notion was that a year from now, we needed not only to achieve ceqa, but we had to demonstrate that there was the committee's ability to meet that first milestone, and the committee has chosen to break it out 10/10/10. the reality is that the costs primarily occur in 2013, so they are not even realize, but the pressure is on the committee with this commitment to meet it early, so we have questions
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about whether we give the team specific time while holding their feet to the fire. supervisor elsbernd: not so much, at least the way i'm reading it. 12 months from now is our last chance to walk away, and at that point, they only need to raise $10.5 billion. and as you have just said, our costs are not going to be incurred until 2012/2013. >> a central tenet of this proposal from the beginning has been that there is $32 million of philanthropic funds that need to be raised to offset city costs, and that has not changed. because it is clear that there are going to be city costs with managing and organizing an event, and the goal is to meet all of those costs. there is no question that the
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city -- supervisor elsbernd: i get that, and i get the goal of the amendment is to give us the security that indeed that $32 million is going to be raised. the language referring to ceqa, though, herds that. >> the moment of see what is a time -- there are lots of decision points that happen, and that is a time in which if there is going to be a change in whether or not the event is going to happen, that is the appropriate time. after that, you have the event authority making massive tens of millions of dollars worth of improvements in order to hold the event, and you have the city committing resources as well. that is really the moment in time in which if there is going to be any ship, that it needs to happen. we thought it was not realistic to ask the america's cup organizing committee to raise $32 million in the year for obligations that will largely
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occur in 2013, but that $10 million of which we think the only real expenditure in the year will be ceqa. we will have some money in banks. we will show that there is -- that this committee has some legs and the ability to raise money. in effect, fulfilling its obligations. it is a chat, a moment in time -- it is a check with the milestone is not a cheap, the city could consider whether or not that back so -- that backstop israel. -- whether or not that backstop is real. supervisor mirkarimi: mr. bentsen. >> members of the committee and other visitors, i'm here representing director more year
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and the remainder of the team that has been involved in these discussions. i just wanted to open, saying that we have appreciated working with or forcing economic development staff on this project over the past couple months. the city attorney staff that is going to assign to this have been phenomenal, and we have appreciated the opportunity to be briefing your staff and members of the board as well. i would like to dive into some of the details of the agreement. i want to start by again giving the general frame. some of this was covered in the presentation, but especially the port is called upon in this agreement to provide world-class facilities for the staging of the 34th america's cup. it is envisioned that there will need to be substantial
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improvements to port property to be used for those purposes. since we don't have revenue bond capacity or other funds to repay those improvements, we would offer a long to develop a rights at some of the locations and vision for use as a way for the team to recoup its investment. a lot of the work that the staff does is to try to recoup investments. we have annual operating budget of less than $70 million a year, so we need private investment in order to continue to improve the san francisco waterfront. since development is entailed year, i thought i would take a brief moment to go over what our standard development process is so we could compare that
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with the process envisioned under the host city agreement. this is a little bit difficult to read, and i apologize to the audience for that. our normal project starts with a competitive selection process for a private developer. we are not doing that. we are instead competing to win the america's cup. after selecting a private development partner, usually based on their qualifications or their concept for the use of poor property callaway enter into a contract where we try to hammer out the major deal terms. we engage the public as well through a number of core
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advisory groups to try to make sure that neighbors, people who are waterfront constituents, or maritime interests, have really bothered to the program for a specific site. we bring that term sheet when we negotiated it with our partners, to the port commission. we also bring it for the mayor's approval and approval by the board of supervisors, and if there is public funding involved in the proposal, we will seek a fiscal feasibility finding from the board of supervisors, much as we are today. that fiscal feasibility finding is a necessary step to start ceqa, california environmental quality act analysis of the project. we submit a description to the planning department. it goes through a process that may be 18 to 24 months or longer in terms of completing an eir
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for a project. we will also start consultations with our regulators. principally, the agency at the state level overseas the port's actions is the california state commission, and they weigh in to make sure that we are administering the port's property consistent with our legislative grants. we manage that property for the people of california, which is why state agency oversees our activities. towards the end of the process, we will negotiate what is called a leave this position and development agreements, all subject to approval by the port commission, mayor, and the board of supervisors. then, we go to a regulatory partner, the bay conservation and development commission to get a permit for the project. we will close escrow, and the lease will become effective when our development partner satisfies certain conditions in
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this position and development agreement. the entire process is designed to make sure that our development is designed to deliver in the form of maritime access, public access and parks, historic rehabilitation. the board has many historic resources that need to be saved, and visited-serving amenities consistent with the charter and our truck grant. that is what we normally do, and i would like to go a little bit into what is planned for the host city agreement. overhead please. ok. this has been a negotiated bid process. the original agreement was a
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completely negotiated bid. the no. waterfront alternative that you have in front of you now was really developed by court staff in consultation with the mayor of's staff, and there has been some consultation with the team, but i stopped short of calling it a negotiated bid. the term sheet was approved by the board of supervisors earlier this fall. today, we are seeking a fiscal feasibility finding that you will hear from the budget analyst on, and now, we are considering this host city agreement, which is a binding agreement. after all of that, we enter stage two. we started to talk about ceqa in stage two. that process is going to involve exhaustive consultation with a number of state and federal permitting agencies because we are beginning to think about waterfront think about waterfront improvements being constructed